Daily Martyrology for February 8

In 1537, St. Jerome Emiliani, founder of the Somaschi Congregation, who were dedicated to the care of needy children. He was perhaps the first person to write a catechism in question and answer form.

At Whitby, in 714, St. Elfleda, abbess. She was offered as a child oblate to St. Hilda by her father King Oswy of Northumbria. She was a friend of St. Cuthbert, and eventually succeeded Hilda as abbess at Whitby.

In 1124, St. Stephen of Muret, abbot and founder of the Order of Grandmont. After visiting Rome, he became a hermit near Limoges. Disciples gathered around him and toward the end of his life he established a very austere monastic community at Muret.

In Italy, in 1947, St. Josephine Bakhita. She was born in the Darfur region of the Sudan. When she was a small child she was captured by slave-traders and sold successively to several different owners. The last, an Italian, offered to free her, and she asked him to take her to Italy. She served as a nanny for a family in Venice. She came to know the Canossian sisters, converted, and joined the Order. Her memoirs were published in 1930 and were widely acclaimed. She was the first African-born saint to be canonized in modern times.

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Our daily martyrology was written by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB. Copyright © 2008 by the Monastery of the Ascension, Jerome, ID 83338.